Clooney urges leaders to help stop Darfur violence

George Clooney arrived in Egypt during his campaign to raise awareness about killings in Sudan’s Darfur region.

George Clooney arrived in Egypt during his campaign to raise awareness about killings in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Clooney came to Egypt from China, where he had been since Friday, said his publicist Stan Rosenfield. The Oscar-winning actor will return to the US tomorrow.

The star was joined by fellow actor Don Cheadle and two former Olympians among others on the trip to make a personal plea to Chinese and Egyptian officials to use their ties with the Sudanese government to help stop the violence, Rosenfield said.

Egypt has been a key mediator with its neighbour Sudan, trying to convince the Khartoum government to allow a larger peacekeeping force into the war-torn region, where 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have been driven from their homes in three years of warfare.

China is a close ally of the Sudanese government and has become a major trade partner, buying Sudanese oil. It has opposed imposing sanctions on Sudan to force it to accept a UN peacekeeping force.

Clooney, a liberal Democrat, is well known for his activism, and has been urging Congress and the United Nations to help end atrocities in the Darfur region.

In September, Clooney and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel met with UN Security Council members to urge them to act on Darfur. Clooney and his father, Nick, visited the war ravaged region in April.

The conflict began in 2003, when rebels of ethnic African tribes took up arms against the Arab-dominated government, complaining of discrimination and mistreatment. The government is accused of responding with a brutal counter-rebellion led by Arab militias.

Among those travelling with the actor-director were Kenyan Olympian Tegla Loroupe, who serves as a United Nations ambassador of sport; American speed skater and gold medal winner Joey Cheek; Cheadle, one of Clooney’s Ocean’s 11 co-stars and an Academy Award nominated actor for Hotel Rwanda; and David Pressman, a human rights lawyer and former aide to the then US secretary of state Madeline Albright.

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